I’ve just sat through two-days of speakers at Content Marketing World in Sydney. On the whole, it was a good conference – interesting. I love listening to smart people. Almost as interesting as the content the speakers delivered however, was the attendees’ reaction to them as individuals. People like Joe Pulizzi, Robert Rose, and Mark Schaefer have celeb status when it comes to the world of Marketing. And not without reason. They have personal brands as big as some companies. Why? Their content ties back to their visions. You’ll know from my two previous Linkedin Influencer Posts, here and here, I believe this is a critical part of getting content right.
Deloitte CMO David Redhill illustrated this perfectly when he talked about ‘content’ as ‘courtship.’ It’s such a powerful concept because it highlights the significance of ‘relationship.’ This understanding is critical for three main reasons:
1. Vision has to be based on values.
Values are a way to show how much you care. They have to align with your vision, or else it means nothing. Redhill said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Values, as communicated through content, make the difference between it being a memory quickly forgotten, and it changing an understanding or behaviour. Consequently, all content should have a simple values test before you publish it.
2. Content must stand for something.
It’s not the number of words on a screen, the time a video will play for, or even how many people looked at it. If that’s true and content has greater meaning than these measures, does it make sense to own or lease the platform for its housing and dissemination? I don’t buy into the hype around ‘brand journalism’, but brand publishing is here, and it’s only going to get bigger. As such, social platforms should support your content, but its spine needs to be on a platform you own. You need to invest in the tools and people to get this right. After all, it’s your vision – not someone else’s. Don’t leave yourself in a position where someone else could pull the rug out from underneath you at a moment’s notice.
3. Like a courtship, you have to be passionate about your content!
This can seem like a challenge. After all, not all businesses create inspiring or exciting products or services. The gurus at the conference are in an enviable situation (at least from where I sit as someone who shares their passion for good content). But… that’s why vision is so important in your content and storytelling. It’s not about your products and services as such, it’s about where you are going and why. It’s about your people and the way you are positively impacting your environment. And that’s a vision worthy of good content!